Chapter Two unobtrusively introduces one of the unsung heroes of this story: books: "There's nothing in the living world like books on water cures, deaths-of-a-thousand-slices, or pouring white-hot lava off castle walls on drolls and mountebanks."

They'll reappear several times; for instance, near the end of Chapter 8, when Will realizes "in the rush I got Jim's book, he's got one of mine ... But it was a pretty fine reptile."

Much later, in Chapter 38, books and newspaper clippings will help Mr. Halloway track the dark carnival through history and get a grasp of just what the boys are up against. Books of course are at the center of one of Bradbury's other famous novels, Fahrenheit 451.